Remind Me How This Ends by Gabrielle Tozer
Published by HarpersCollins in March 2017
Layla Montgomery’s life fell apart at thirteen. After her mum died in a shock accident, Layla’s grieving father packed their bags and forced her to leave behind everything she’d ever known.
Milo Dark has been stuck on pause since the Year 12 exams. His long-term girlfriend moved 300 kilometres away for uni, his mates bailed for bigger things, and he’s convinced he missed the reminder to plan out the rest of his life.
As kids, Layla and Milo shared everything – their secrets, a treehouse and weekends at the river. But they haven’t spoken since her mum’s funeral. That is, until Layla shows up five years later in his parents’ bookshop without so much as a text message.
Pretty soon they’re drawn into a tangled mess that guarantees someone will get hurt. And while it’s a summer they’ll never forget, is it one they’ll want to remember?
This adorable boy-meets-girl-again story charmed me from the very beginning and I couldn’t it put down! There’s something about stories set in that time between high school and adulthood that I really love. It’s such an emotional time of your life – it’s exciting, confusing and scary all at once, especially if you don’t know what you want to do next and with your life, and Gabrielle Tozer captured this feeling beautifully in this book.
Here’s what I loved about this book:
Milo and Layla’s friendship was first and foremost. I loved how Layla and Milo reconnected as friends – initially with some trepidation, which felt very realistic given the time and events that had gone by. But the strength in their friendship as best friends was clear as they quickly picked up right where they had left off – sharing memories from their childhood and through their easy, lighthearted banter. As their friendship developed into a more physical relationship, it felt like a natural progression for these best friends. They brought the best out of each other through their support and encouragement, but also by challenging one another. Their reconnection with one another was exactly what they each needed to work out what they wanted to do. For Milo, Layla reassured him to do what was right for HIM and not for anyone else – herself or his parents. And for Layla, Milo helped her to rediscover herself through the haze of her grief and he was gentle and respectful of her, not pushing her to ‘deal’ with it before she was ready.
Milo and Layla were both loveable and relatable characters and it really felt you went on this journey of figuring out what came next for them, WITH them. Layla was such a relatable character with her funny sense of humour and witty dialogue, which was often a cover for her overwhelming grief and the struggle she was going through. But her grief and pain was SO believable – as was her character growth as she began to acknowledge with her grief and move forward with her life. Milo’s indecisiveness about his future was also very realistic and something that so many teens (and even those in their 20’s) experience. It’s such an emotional time and definitely not something to rush a decision on. I loved how Milo took the time to really consider what his next step would be, and he didn’t give in to his parents pressure to the ‘responsible’ thing.
The story lighthearted at times with awkward-but-hilarious moments but handled the serious theme of grief sensitively. This book was well written and balanced with humour and heartbreak.I found myself giggling, then crying, then giggling again the whole way through. I loved the witty dialogue – not only from Milo and Layla, but also from Milo’s brother Trent who added welcome comic relief at just the right times.
The best-friends to lovers romance trope that totally hooked me on the ‘will-they-won’t-they’ love story. There were plenty of swoony moments between Layla and Milo that hit me right in the feels. They were ridiculously cute and I loved their flirty banter. The sweet text messages sent between them was a nice touch that only further added to the strength of their relationship.
I loved getting into the head of these two loveable characters. Alternating between Milo and Layla’s POV was a good way to show how each made their decisions on their own, but also how they came to respect the other’s choices, both about their relationship and also their futures. I felt this really showed their maturity and growth, and made the story feel honest and authentic.
This was my first Gabrielle Tozer book, and I am definitely a new fan – her other books have definitely gone up on my TBR list! This wonderfully sweet yet heartfelt story is beautifully written with well developed characters who were both relatable and adorable, and with awesome dialogue. This book hit me right in the feels and was full of moments that were swoony, hilarious and heartbreaking. Remind Me How This Ends is a delightful Aussie YA read that will not disappoint.
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The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han // Love, Rosie by Cecilia Ahern
Have you read this one? What did you think? Same as me or something different?
Or if you haven’t read it… has it been on your radar? Or totally not your thing?
Either way, I would love to hear from you!